Westbrook, Harden book triple-doubles

Agence France-Presse
Westbrook, Harden book triple-doubles
James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets lays it in against Jaden McDaniels of the Minnesota Timberwolves during their game at Barclays Center in New York City Monday.

WASHINGTON – Washington’s Russell Westbrook and Brooklyn’s James Harden delivered impressive triple-doubles on Monday, sparking their clubs to NBA victories and making some personal history for themselves.

Westbrook unleashed 35 points, a career-best 21 assists and 14 rebounds to power the Wizards over the visiting Indiana Pacers, 132-124, for the 162nd triple-double of his career.

It was the first triple-double in NBA history with 35 or more points and 20 or more rebounds. Only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson had previously produced triple-doubles of 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists.

“I take pride as a leader in making my teammates better. Tonight the guys helped me out making shots and keeping it moving,” Westbrook said.

It was Westbrook’s 16th triple-double with the Wizards, the 32-year-old US guard setting a club one-season record in only his 38th appearance for Washington.

“Mindset was to go out and be aggressive and make sure I set the table for my teammates like I’ve been doing all year long and make sure they have confidence going into the fourth,” Westbrook said.

“When the fourth hits, it’s time to take over.”

In New York, Harden scored 38 points, passed off 13 assists and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Kyrie Irving added 27 points in his return as the Nets beat visiting Minnesota, 112-107.

Harden delivered his 12th triple-double in only 32 games with the Nets, tying Jason Kidd’s one-season club record, as Brooklyn moved a half-game back of Eastern Conference leader Philadelphia at 32-15.

Irving, who missed Brooklyn’s past three games for personal reasons, added seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot against the league-worst Timberwolves (11-36).

Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant remains sidelined for at least another week due to a hamstring injury.

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